Melinda Gates will make sure her three kids inherit more than $10 million each

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Bill Gates is one of those billionaires who delights in telling people how little money (relatively speaking) his children will inherit. Gates has said for years that his three kids will likely get $10 million each, although I don’t know if that’s part of his will or if he’s talking about some kind of trust fund. While I would love $10 million, if my father was worth $130 billion, I’d be somewhat offended. As it turns out, maybe Melinda Gates is offended on her kids’ behalf. Which is why some legal experts believe that she’s using the divorce to negotiate a better financial deal for their three adult children.

Maybe those poor Gates kids are getting more than $10 million after all. Divorce experts say there’s a clue in Melinda Gates’ blockbuster divorce filing that she’s angling to change her three children’s inheritance — after her estranged husband, Bill Gates, has repeatedly said he’s leaving them a mere $10 million apiece. Melinda has taken the highly unusual step — according to experts — of naming top trust and estate lawyers as her representatives in her divorce filing, along with the customary matrimonial legal eagles.

High-profile divorce attorneys Harriet Newman Cohen and Martha Cohen Stine point out that Melinda has “well-known trust and estate lawyers involved in the case,” and that it’s “most unusual for trust and estate lawyers’ names to be listed on a divorce filing.”

The move, the duo told Page Six in an interview, signals Melinda has potential plans for her family that diverge from Bill’s.

Bill Gates has said his kids will get a “minuscule” portion of his vast wealth. Worth $130 billion, the Microsoft mogul plans to leave just $10 million to each of his kids — Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18. During a past Reddit talk, the billionaire stated, “I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them,” and, “Some people disagree with this but Melinda and I feel good about it.”

Said Newman Cohen: “Bill Gates proudly announced to the world he was leaving $10 million to each of his three children, and that the rest of the billions will be left to charity … now that Melinda has control — maybe she wanted to leave more to her children than $10 million each. Maybe she didn’t agree.” She added that the fraction of funds to be left to the kids is “tantamount to disinheriting the children… We see divorces for the reason that the mother wants to protect the children. She may be like every other woman … protecting her children.”

[From Page Six]

Perhaps we’re finally understanding why everyone in the family is taking Melinda’s “side.” Her side will leave more money for everyone. I’d sidle up to my mother too if it meant the difference between a $10 million and a $200 million inheritance. In all seriousness, I do agree with Bill Gates and other rich a–holes that vast inherited wealth historically leads to more problems, and Bill is probably (justifiably) concerned that his kids would just become a–holes waiting for him to die so they could fight over his estate. That being said, it is rude!! It will be interesting to see how much Melinda gets in the divorce, and if she creates some kind of different trust-fund/inheritance system for their kids.

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113 Responses to “Melinda Gates will make sure her three kids inherit more than $10 million each”

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  1. Maria says:

    I definitely understand that he should be paying more for these kids.

    That said….
    Damn.
    …Must be nice.

    • Melissa says:

      Why should he be paying more ? These are three adults with billionaire parents that are “only” going to get 10 million?

      She’s going to rightfully get half – she can leave it to whom ever she chooses. Making your kids inheritance part of a divorce settlement is odd.

      • Maria says:

        Don’t have children as a billionaire if you don’t want an equitable portion of your assets going to them – unless you’re going to donate it to some worthier cause (which would be ideal in this situation especially given their father could basically fund worldwide vaccines for everyone and yet chooses to uphold vaccine apartheid) or there are particularly strong warning signs indicating they are undeserving of it.
        And I don’t think either of those conditions are applicable here. Obviously this is a subjective view, but it’s absolutely mine.
        And no, it’s not odd in regards to large amounts of wealth. There’s an entire area of litigation pertaining to estate planning while divorcing. And I imagine it’s especially pertinent in regards to millionaires and billionaires.
        Yes, Melinda can leave her portion to her children as she sees fit. But I see no reason in the world why Bill Gates should be sitting on a large chunk of that money without redistribution of any kind and then also not giving it to his family. It’s not like he earned it through honest means.
        The children will never have to work in their lives and I don’t have that much sympathy for them but I have far less for their father.

      • Melissa says:

        I appreciate the point of view and we likely agree on the subject of hoarding such extreme wealth . I just don’t agree that his children as somehow entitled to an equitable share, especially considering they have never Nor will ever want for anything (material).

      • Maria says:

        I definitely understand that too. But then, who knows what living in those circles like financially.
        Not that I have much sympathy for that aspect either, but as Biggie said “It’s like the more money we come across/The more problems we see”, lol.

      • Erin says:

        I will say… the type of person that becomes a billionaire is generally a narcissist personality type. Doesn’t make for a great parent and can result in a lot of trauma. I feel like he owes his kids for pain and suffering. Yes, they were privileged . Yes, they had everything in the world. However, having a dad like that can really screw you up.

      • Melissa says:

        @Erin except there is no evidence of that – they seem to be pursuing education and we haven’t heard a whiff of scandal about the kids. I still don’t get why a mere ten million is somehow insufficient .

      • Heather says:

        Melissa, agree with you 100%. Melinda will get half of everything. She can do with her half what she wants, and Bill can do what he wants with his half. I don’t think it’s fair for her to dictate what Bill does with his half – she can give everything she has to the kids if that is what she would like to do. I am sure it has to do more with not wanting any new wife and her kids to get anything. If he does remarry, he is entitled to do whatever he wants with his half of the fortune that he earned. And good for him (or her) if they want to redistribute the wealth and leave most to charity.

    • Lionel says:

      Yeah. I have big opinions on this too, with the “must be nice!” caveat. I despise the concept of billionaires and dynastic wealth in general. But if you’re that fortunate, I think it’s reasonable to want to leave your kids enough to provide for their and their kids’ well-being. So, enough for education, enough to pay for healthcare. Maybe enough to not have to worry about end-of-life care. It’s not societally fair, and I’m jealous, but I don’t judge someone giving their kids the gift of relief from certain economic anxieties if they can. If I were in that position, I’d set up a trust administered by a third party that could be drawn upon ONLY for education for as many generations as it lasts. That’s my bias, that education sets you free and I’d want my descendants to have that. Maybe I’d set up another for healthcare and elder care. What I would never do is leave them enough unearmarked money that they don’t have to work.

      How much is that much? I don’t know. If I inherited $10 million tomorrow obviously I’d be thrilled, but I still wouldn’t feel safe enough to quit my job yet. I’m young, I’ve got kids to educate and loans to pay and I plan to live a nice long life enjoying my retirement while I can. Investment isn’t a sure thing. But good lord, $10 million would erase a lot of nest egg anxiety, which might make me healthier overall. All this is to say that I feel like, give or take a few mill, maybe the $10 million figure approaches the optimal amount to leave a kid. (If you’re one of the 0.01% that can even realistically think about such things! Must be nice.)

    • bananapanda says:

      The Gates and Warren Buffet have been leading the charge on philanthropy and The Pledge, which has the uber wealthy billionaires signing on to donating most of their wealth before they die. They’ve also clearly stated that the kids would inherit “enough to do something, but not enough to do nothing” which is pretty common amongst wealthy and educated who don’t want lazy trust fund kids.

      That said, the Gates transferred a massive amount of their wealth (~$30B in 2005 when they were worth $50B, I think) to the Gates Foundation. I always assumed they would set aside trusts for their kids with guidelines like money for education, healthcare etc. and maybe their own philanthropic foundations too. Sounds like Melinda is re-thinking what the level of inheritance is going to be.

  2. lanne says:

    I don’t envy those kids. They will need security for the rest of their lives. it will be difficult to trust any romantic partner or friend. People will try to sue them all the time. They will be subject to gazillions of appeals for “investments” and charities, real and fake. It will be difficult to be anonymous. They have to live through a very public and nasty divorce. Then they have to live through all kinds of unsolicited opinions on said nasty divorce.

    I hope they have a tight “circle of trust” they can depend on.

    • Maria says:

      And yet, money like that can buy privileges, safety, access to resources, legal teams, and a social circle neither you and I can ever imagine and their last name will open doors not even many rich people can enter.

  3. Eurydice says:

    Hmmm, as I recall the narrative at the time, it was Melinda who convinced Bill to join with Warren Buffet to start the Giving Pledge, where billionaires pledge to give at least half their wealth to charity. And the Gates’ aren’t the only billionaires who aren’t leaving the bulk of their wealth to their children – Bloomberg, Buffet, Zuckerberg, etc. Interesting turnaround.

    • Lauren says:

      Half to charity sure, but I’m sure that Melinda wasn’t thinking 30 million out of 66.5 billion which is half what Bill is worth. Those kids should be getting at least ten times what he promised.

      • Eurydice says:

        I can’t speak to what Melinda was thinking, but I do know that, according to all the reports, she was the one to take Bill down the charitable route. If she could have had that much influence over him about his entire fortune, it’s hard for me to imagine that she couldn’t have had similar influence over what their children would inherit. Unless, of course, the accepted narrative has been wrong all along.

      • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

        There are also ways to structure the trust so that it’s staggered: Child gets X amount at age 25, X amount at age 40, X amount at age 60, etc, OR, Child can get the interest on X amount until they are 40/50/ whatever, and all the while the principal is still invested and earning.

        So, yeah… I get where MG is coming from. To you and I, mere peasants, $10M is a fortune, and that WOULD set us up for life. For those kids, having lived that lifestyle, it’s as if you or I inherited $100K (at the MOST).

      • Lionel says:

        @OGJan: I have what I think is an interesting perspective bc I married into the disinherited branch of a wealthy family. The big feud happened a century ago, the bad guys are long gone, nobody’s mad about it now, it just is what it is. I have thoughts about what I’d do if I had that kind of money (see post above.) But my in-law cousins have a structure like you describe. They’re mostly nice people who live with the knowledge that they’ll get access to a pile of money every so many years. And … they have this weirdly ingrained belief that one should only put effort into something one enjoys. They have jobs, but they get super-incensed when asked to do something inconvenient. I think it changes a person when they feel like they’re just waiting around for their guaranteed ship to come in.

        TL;DR: While sure I’d love to have that kind of money, I’m still glad I married the poor cousin!

      • Lucy says:

        Yes to the structuring of payment! I don’t know why everyone’s acting like he had to die for his kids to get money?
        My husband works for a multi millionaire, and he has a trust of about ten million set up for his child, who is in their early thirties and I believe has free access to the trust.
        I do remember talking to the boss wife (who is a nice person) maybe 10 years ago, and she talked about how their child (just out of college at the time) was in California for hedge fund management training, and had met a lot of trust fund kids there. Most of them were working at Starbucks part time so they had plenty of time to play, but still had some structure.
        I guess my main thing is there’s no reason to assume there’s not a trust in place now for the security, etc costs. And, if Melinda doesn’t like how Bill was doing it, she has ample means to give them hundreds of millions without touching the principal.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Eurydice, I read an article very, very many years ago where Warren Buffet said something like, “Give your kids enough to help them, but no so much that they won’t help themselves.” The article went on to state (IIRC) that his kids (2?) were heads of a Foundation(s), and were pulling high salaries. I thought this was a great way for someone with his wealth to view his responsibility as a parent. Also, working with foundations, would give his kids another perspective. Having said that, I saw an interview with him, his son and grandson in the last 5-8 years, I think. His son said that when he was growing up he had no idea that his Dad had so much money. There was a bit of resentment in the way he said that. I think Mr. Buffet was smart the way he did it. Bill & Melinda Gates had kids after that wealth was there and increasing. Their kids will need security, etc. but that doesn’t mean they can’t lead meaningful lives. But that’s up to them. No matter how much money they have.

  4. MaryContrary says:

    I get that he doesn’t want his kids to become wastrels. However, his oldest is in med school, his next one is at University of Chicago (where fun goes to die, not remotely a party school), and I’m sure their youngest will be on the right path too. If we were worth gazillions, I’d make sure my kids were each getting more than $10M.

    • mellie says:

      yeah, it sounds like they are raising good humans so there is no reason to not set them up for life. Like someone pointed out above, they are possibly going to need security measures for a good long while. I’m a mom, so I would be the same. I don’t think any of these three are going to be in the basement playing video games all day.

  5. Anne says:

    So he obviously is paying for college and whatever advanced degrees the kids want and all expenses to get through those degrees; places to live, cars, etc. They have the best start in life. They probably already have investments and retirement funds set up for them. The $10M would be on top of that right? I see nothing wrong with what he is planning to do.

    • Jeanette says:

      Anne, I don’t think a parent paying for college or even a child in colleges car is worth giving more credit for, he(they) SHOULD pay for college and a car if possible. A parent’s job is to do the best they can for their kid or why even have them? As far as leaving them more money, I do get it but $130billion is a lot not to leave your kids perhaps more than $30million outta that but it’s also his money.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Jeanette, and yet I’ve read stories where parents have bankrupted themselves to provide those things for their children. It isn’t a right–it’s a privilege to have parents pay for your college, etc. My hope is that all 3 of them build their own lives and are a success at it.

      • Maria says:

        I think Jeannette’s point is that if a parent can comfortably pay for their child’s education without harm to themselves then yes, they really should. And with the costs of college these days and the inability to join almost any workforce without a degree (save for trade schools which often are heavily biased towards men, so that doesn’t help a lot of women), I agree with that view.
        Other circumstances where the parents are bankrupting themselves is a tad different.

  6. Amelie says:

    I feel bad for his kids because when you inherit that much wealth, it comes with so much baggage, responsibility, and it often corrupts a person. Maybe they should get more than $10 million and I get Melinda wanting to make sure her kids have security and will be taken care of financially when she’s gone. But the kids do not need to inherit billions of dollars. It’s often a recipe for disaster that then sets off a tidal wave of dysfunction down the generations. How many stories of rich families do we know that were torn apart by money? So many.

    • Melissa says:

      Melinda is going to get half – she can leave her money to her kids as she sees fit . These adults are always going to be taken care of .

  7. Lauren says:

    At this point, I’m rather thinking that Melinda has Bill by the b a l l s and that those kids will get way more than 10 million each if Bill knows what’s good for him.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      @Lauren:
      I believe you’re right and she’s slowly squeezing said b a l l s ever so tighter

    • Heat says:

      Oh yeah, Melinda has tea to spill for sure! And I don’t really think she’s going to stop at money for the kids to inherit.
      I mean, it stands to reason that Melinda will get half of the fortune…so that’s $65billion. Even if she leaves each kid $1billion, there’s still $62billion to leave to charity. Like, that’s insane!!!

      She’s going to squeeze him, and I’m here for it! 👏

  8. Sofia says:

    Honestly I never believed he was going to leave them with 10 million. I’m sure he has set them up with real estate and other investments which they can call their “own” and manage themselves later.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I never believed it either. Maybe $10 million a piece in outright cash but I was always thought more were would be put into trust funds with the principle tied up.

      Maybe he said that to keep his kids on their toes and on a good path.

    • missskitttin says:

      Maybe it’s 10 Billions?

    • Becks1 says:

      This is what I think. It’s 10 million cash for each in the will but that’s not all they;re getting from him. I’m sure he’s bought them property and they probably have trust funds or other investment vehicles.

    • Haylie says:

      I dunno. Remember Aaron Spelling.

  9. Courtney B says:

    If true, hopefully they’ll continue to philanthropic work. The eldest is in medical school. The youngest seems inclined to the arts having long trained to be a ballerina. Don’t know what the son is studying.

  10. rawiya says:

    That’s cute and all, but they don’t NEED more than 10 million. They don’t even need 10 million. This isn’t the flex, the “screw you ex-husband”, she thinks it is. Forcing him to give more money to rain forest conservation or ocean clean up—that’s sticking it to him. Making him give kids with money more money? Eh. She doesn’t get any applause from me.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I am sure her lawyers know what they are doing.

    • Maria says:

      Forcing him to fund vaccine distribution would be really sticking it to him.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Maria, Yes!! His greediness is disgusting with his aggressive schtick to set up the vaccines as IP. He is truly a vile person as soon as I read about that. He should be stoned out of the village!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Completely agree. Those kids will be fine! They don’t need a billion dollars each or something. They will be more than fine with $10 million. Far better to leave the most funding possible to the many extremely vulnerable and needy in the world.

  11. OriginalLala says:

    Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but parents don’t owe their kids their billions/millions – no one *needs* millions/billions of dollars in trust funds. You know what we do need? No more billionaires.

    • Belle says:

      It definitely is unpopular and I get the argument that the kids should get more than 10 million but honestly they are divorcing, if she inherits half or close to it, she could choose to give them her share and they will still have more than 99% of the world. He can choose to do what he wants with the his portion. It’s not like he is a dead beat dad to our knowledge. I think this does not make her look good, given the BILLIONS both parents will eventually have.

    • emu says:

      I’m surprised it’s such an unpopular opinion – but I definitely agree with you. $10mil is an amazing life, not including any other investments or whatever they already have in their names.

      • Melissa says:

        My suspicion is if this discussion were about a different billionaire … Gates is reprehensible on the vaccine issue and the Epstein angle makes it more gross so I think the opinion may be driven more by dislike rather than won’t someone think of the poor billionaires children.

    • Maria says:

      I normally agree but I see nothing good in Bill Gates himself retaining that much wealth and I don’t think he’ll be donating his billions.
      He’s been shady for years – Epstein, sexual harassment, monopolies – and Melinda has been paramount in helping to promote the idea that he’s some laid-back progressive. I don’t particularly like either of them, but she and the kids should get paid for the job they did, essentially.
      I don’t think that him not giving more money to his children is going to end the systemic inequality of plutocracy.
      But that’s just me.

    • y says:

      Maybe we should get accountable for making them billionaires, first, before going into a socialist rhetoric.

  12. detritus says:

    He gets to enjoy it because he earned it, but he feels his kids don’t ‘deserve’ it, is my guess.

    He isn’t against cast wealth (his), just ‘giving’ it to others.

    Except he doesn’t deserve it either. He made his money off of the backs of poor workers.

    I wonder how long he stays on the Giving Trust now that they’re divorcing.

  13. Bunny says:

    I imagine she’s trying to cement their futures, given that he’s ripe for the picking by his 2nd/3rd/etc. spouse, all of whom will be smart enough to get pre-nups.

    He’s apparently been cheating for years, and she knows his weaknesses better than anyone.

    She’s smart, so she’ll have their money put into trusts he can’t control.

    • Chaine says:

      That’s what I’m thinking too. She sees the kind of gold diggers other billionaires end up marrying, and that they have more kids into their 80s. She wants to ensure her kids get their share before a Bill takes up with a 20 something social media influencer and has a new pack of em.

  14. Chlo says:

    It is kind of weird and heartless to raise your children with this luxurious lifestyle and then essentially not leave them anything. I hope they have a work ethic, motivation, etc., and that they do something interesting with their lives given this immense privilege. I understand a parent wanting to instill certain values in their kids. But I also understand wanting to make sure your kids are set. I mean….I’d be upset if my parents were worth 130 billion and my inheritance was 10 million. lolol Oh, to have such problems!

    • Cherie says:

      In what world is leaving someone 10 million dollars “essentially not anything?”

      • Maria says:

        In Bill Gates’s world? lol

      • Chlo says:

        Definitely Bill Gates’ world. Lolol

      • Larisa says:

        Thankfully, Bill Gates doesn’t have his own world… yet, he still lives in the same one as the rest of us, where 10 million on top of no student debts, top-notch education, and, I’m sure, swanky real estate, plenty of prized possessions, and incredible connections is not “essentially not anything”.

  15. Lunasf17 says:

    These kids are going to have a life of luxury and privilege no matter what. They will never worry about how to pay for college, a roof over their head, a car that works or how to put food on the table. They will never need to pick up a seasonal job at target or work a night shift at the hospital to make ends meet. Sorry but I have zero sympathy. $10 million plus the privilege of growing up as a Gates child is going to open up a lot more doors for them. They’ll be able to make millions off their name alone. I have sympathy for a lot of people in this world but this family isn’t one of them.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yeah, this is an intellectual argument for me, too – I have no emotions for them. What doesn’t seem part of this article is that Melinda’s going to come out of it with billions. So even if Bill doesn’t give his kids more than $10 million each, she can give them a lot more if she wants.

    • emu says:

      Agreed – plus whatever other assets they already have in their name. It’s not like they don’t have any investments or houses from their parents already. I’m sure they’re all more wealthy than any of us can possibly imagine before dad’s assets get distributed.

  16. Lizzie Bathory says:

    As an attorney, I’ve been very interested in the financial aspect of this split from the jump. Bringing on trusts & estates lawyers? Curiouser & curiouser.

  17. Watson says:

    It’s not set in stone that the kids get 10 million. Maybe Melinda was just trying to ensure that they got some means of inheritance at all.

    Inheritance issues are tricky. Does anyone meed 10 million or a billion? No. Did they work to build the company? No. But Bill was never around for his kids so they paid through emotional neglect and that’s potentially a life long therapy bill worth thousands.

    • Becks1 says:

      I’m going back and forth because of this. No, the kids did not build the company, that is his money. But the kids did sacrifice, I’m assuming he wasn’t around a lot, missed a lot of sports games etc, and that Melinda did a lot of the heavy emotional lifting with them, and so on. So while they don’t have a right to any money, I think its kind of a tricky situation because there are so many factors.

      • Cherie says:

        So — like many children with parents who work a lot, work two jobs, have to travel for work, military, law enforcement, healthcare etc. who miss games, plays, teacher conferences?

        I am not sure that “you owe your kids a fortune because of THEIR sacrifice to your job while raising them” is the right message to put out here. I don’t have the millions to give my kids for the events I had to miss so they could eat.

      • Becks1 says:

        I literally said “they dont have a right to any money” and that it’s a tricky situation.

        but yes, I am going to assume that Bill Gates’ relationship with his kids is more complicated than the average relationship because of the nature of his job and his career and company. does he owe the kids because he missed a soccer game? of course not. But I do think that their family situation is not anything that is really comparable to our lives and I think that if you have a father who is worth hundreds of billions but you never really saw him growing up – yes, I would expect something from that as a result.

        Inheritances and family money are tricky and this level of wealth is something that I am comfortable saying none of us here have any experience with.

    • Watson says:

      Cherie: your examples are of normal people whose sacrifices were made for survival. Bill Gates was absent cause he wanted to keep the billions rolling in. It wasn’t cause he needed to. It was a choice.

      • Cherie says:

        For some it is necessity, for others it is a choice and I’m sure there is a lot of in between — my objection was to the suggestion that his children somehow deserve (more than 10 million dollars) his money to make up for missing ballgames. How do we decide that extremely privileged adults “deserve” more to make up for what we are perceiving as childhood sacrifice?

      • Maria says:

        You are implying Bill Gates deserves his enormous disproportionate wealth in the first place which is highly debatable.

      • Maria says:

        (Duplicate comment)

      • Cherie says:

        Not at all — of course he doesn’t deserve it, but he has it. The discussion is whether his kids deserve more than the paltry ten million.

        He has a son in medical school that will graduate with no student debt, that won’t have to do residency in a public hospital In downtown Chicago, who will magically match any residency he chooses. … and will inherit a teensy little ten million nest egg on top of whatever wealth he amassed through the Gates name.

      • Maria says:

        I think the children deserve a portion more of his wealth than he deserves all of it.

      • Larisa says:

        @Maria
        I agree with Cherie, nobody “deserves” that much money, but at least he earned it, through whatever means our country made available to him, whereas his kids were just born into it, not sure how it makes them deserving.

      • Maria says:

        How does he deserve it though? He built his wealth on the backs of underpaid workers and through monopolies that crushed small startups. And he’s insisting on vaccine apartheid, so the excuse that he is using his wealth well is completely out the window, in my opinion.
        As I said, they are his children and his wife and children have been a large part of him marketing himself as this laid-back progressive even as we know he was exploiting and sexually harassing his employees and bemoaning his marriage woes to Jeffrey Epstein. They certainly deserve it more than him.

    • dj says:

      Ding! Ding! Ding! Thank you @ Watson for stating the obvious. These kids are going to need therapy a long, long time. While I don’t know this for a fact, I am hypothesising Bill is on the spectrum or probably Narcissistic PD. Therefore, absence even when he was around. The damage that could/would do to children would be impactful. Plus, even if they wanted to buy real estate in Manhattan would eat up 10 mil, I think? I don’t know about the last one though.

  18. NewKay_ says:

    The kids will have problems if they’ve had an unstable upbringing or if they haven’t been prepared or equipped with necessary life skills…. inherited wealth or not. Look at Tori Spelling. Give them the money and teach them to be food citizens and not a!$holes.

  19. Lisbeth says:

    I bet this guy will soon be having babies with a much younger woman, and this time he’ll see nothing wrong with leaving every penny to them.

  20. Shannon says:

    Kaiser, trust me! She will get everything she wants. Melinda has receipts dating back to his original eff’ up and I am sure she has used some of her vast wealth and knowledge to get more dirt. If Bill wants to come out of this still looking a billionaire philanthropist, then he will bow down. No doubt about that!

    • Princess Caroline says:

      This right here!! She could literally DESTROY his life if she wanted to. He’s going to roll over so freaking hard and give everything she wants because otherwise his legacy is screwed.

  21. February-Pisces says:

    10 million is a lot for anyone. But the thing is these kids will forever be associated with their father aka one of the richest men in the world. They will forever be targeted and would most likely need security for a lifetime. If his kids don’t see his money then who will benefit from it?

    • Elizabeth says:

      They were going to leave the bulk to charity. Don’t you think that’s better than loading up their kids with even more and more and more?

      • Maria says:

        It’s entirely possible that Melinda knows Bill’s motives better than any of us and she knows he’s not going to do that in reality.

        I wouldn’t put it past him since he’s willing to let people in impoverished countries die of COVID.

      • February-Pisces says:

        A large percentage of money donated to charities doesn’t actually do towards the people it’s suppose to be helping.

        I think Bill will give a large chunk to charity, but most likely has other ideas for his money.

  22. Wiglet Watcher says:

    I know a very wealthy family. Their grandfather was the last private president of prudential(?) insurance. Georgians.
    Anyway, they have funds set for each child and grandchild. The recipient can either wait until the death to Inherit a large sum or slowly take out funds at any time. It lowers the interest of course, but they all do it.
    And they are pretty disconnected from the value of money. Lots of bad business ventures.

    Getting the kids more inheritance might not make them any better off, but it will stick it to Bill just a little more.

  23. RedWeatherTiger says:

    Bill Gates is evidence that it is not only inherited wealth that turns men into assholes. If he/they raised his children well, they won’t be assholes no matter how much money is in the bank

    Team Melinda and Team Kids.

  24. wildwaffles says:

    Perhaps this is a move to ensure a possible wife #2 doesn’t have the means to get the bulk of the billions.

    • Cherie says:

      Wife #1 shouldn’t have a say in what wife #2 does or doesn’t get.

      • Maria says:

        If wife #1 was instrumental in helping to build the world’s largest and wealthiest charitable foundation, then yes, she should.

      • Cherie says:

        That isn’t how divorce works Maria — once they are legally done, she gets her half and moves on, she gets absolutely no say (nor should she) how he spends or gives away or wills away his money.

        The Foundation will be separate from their individual net worth.

      • Becks1 says:

        Except she is getting a say in what happens to his money after the divorce, hence why she is bringing more lawyers on board.

      • Maria says:

        +1 to what Becks said. Your statement before did not appear to refer to their divorce but the concept that Melinda has a say/opinion in the distribution of finances to wife number 2.
        And yes, she is still instrumental to his financial legacy. So, yes, she has every right to lawyer up more.

  25. ugh says:

    This hits home for me. When I was a teen my mom told me I should pursue what I loved because even if I never worked a day in my life I would be ok financially. It shaped my future decisions and I have lived under the poverty line below the means of my peers for the entirety of my twenties and into my thirties. Last month, they told me that out of their 20-30 million (that they inherited) they were going to leave me 1 million, which completely doesn’t align with what I was told, and used Bill Gates as a reason.

    • Zantasia says:

      Wow. That is a really scary spot to be in. I’m sorry your parents are so selfish and can’t see past the end of their noses. You likely chose a career of service (teaching, etc.) because you thought, with their assurances, that you had the secure base to do that. That is awful. Very boomer behavior on their part. They obviously have they right to chose what they do with their money, but bait and switch is not cool at all.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’m sorry if they changed their minds but there are a lot of people in this world who will never see one million dollars. You are unusually lucky. If they are giving to charity, that is good. And it is not selfish to give to charity. It is selfish to hoard wealth in one family.

    • Deering24 says:

      I’m sorry they manipulated you like that. That’s not boomer behavior—that is multi-generational selfishness.

  26. Jo73c says:

    Melinda’s going to end up with billions in the divorce surely? She can leave them however much she wants.

    • Belle says:

      I didn’t see this before I commented above but that is exactly what I was thinking. This is not about equality and me not supporting woman etc, this is about BILLIONS of dollars both parents will have in the end… if wife #2 walks in, Melinda will have about 20-30 billion minimum to distribute to her children, isn’t that enough? No disrespect but he earned that money, he can choose to do whatever he wants with it, including how much to distribute to his children. To my knowledge, it appears that she is getting what she DESERVES. For the other 99% of the families, where a woman’s financial income is below that of a man, I 100% support that argument that the man needs to step up but when both parties have wealth, I am inclined to disagree that he should be forced.

  27. iconoclast59 says:

    Larry Ellison, CEO of software company Oracle and almost as rich as Bill Gates, signed the Giving Pledge, but he’s already given his kids billions, his rationale being, “The sooner my kids get experience dealing with the pluses and minuses of having a lot of money, the better.” He also said that he could help them manage their money better if he were still alive (LOL) when they got it. Interesting philosophy on the matter. Both kids went into filmmaking; David Ellison is the CEO of Skydance Productions, while Megan Ellison runs Annapurna Pictures.

  28. Keri says:

    Finally…something that makes sense. I do not see the logic in my kids only inheriting 10mil each when I have an empire worth several billions. At least let them inherit 80% and then donate the rest. That’s what I’d do.

  29. LMR says:

    My theory:

    Mr. Gates paid OVER $10 million (on one or more occasions) to one or more of his indiscretion partners or harassment victims. Melinda discovered this and decided their is no way in hell their kids will get less than he paid in hush money or settlements. GO MAMA BEAR.

    • FHMom says:

      Interesting theory. I could never understand how a billionaire could leave his kids such a small percent of his wealth.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Maybe because said billionaire feels compassion for the many, many people living lives of extreme poverty and deprivation? Just a guess.

      • Maria says:

        He does NOT feel compassion for those people because if he did he would be making sure they had access to the vaccines instead of doing what he is doing which is impeding access to them worldwide.

        His foundation’s donations to other areas of life don’t mean so much if people aren’t even alive to benefit from them.

    • whatever says:

      Ooooooh, I like this theory.

    • Helen says:

      YUP. Or he gave Epstein something to “invest,” and she’s like, “excuse me, Bill?”

  30. Watcher says:

    Once she gets half(ish) of his money in the divorce, does it matter? She can just leave her half to the kids. There, now they have more than $10M apiece, done.

  31. emu says:

    Oh man, I agree with Bill (and Sting) on this. $10Mil is more than enough. And that’s not including whatever houses or investments or other assets I’m sure they’re already set up with – that’s just coming out of his inheritance.

  32. Melissa says:

    She can leave whatever percentage of the billions she is going to walk away with to the kids and he can leave whatever percentage of his retained billions as well.

    As for the second or third wife that is likely inevitable — again , his business with his money.

    Divorce courts are to be equitable and dissolve the contract fairly. Civil courts aren’t to punish one or the other party.

  33. YFiona says:

    A local billionaire has said publicly for years he won’t leave his children anything. His reasoning is they’ve been given the best education and they have access to an influential global network, so there’s no reason why they can’t provide for themselves. Oh, he also came from a poor background. I completely agree with him. The last thing the world needs are useless trust babies who do nothing to contribute to the well-being of their circle or community and only look out for themselves. I wish more wealthy people thought like this.

    • goofpuff says:

      They always say that until the second young wife with new babies. Then it’s leave those children everything, screw the first wife’s kids because the second wife isn’t down with her kids not getting the full inheritance. Tale as old as time. I’ve seen this a lot with my dad’s rich friends.

  34. AnneSurely says:

    I didn’t like it when Jada and Will or Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher dunked on their children this way and I don’t like it now. Once you have children, your money is family money. Meant to be lived on for necessities and small luxuries, and the rest passed down to future generations. Teaching kids how to be responsible with that wealth is vital. And the kind of wealth Bill Gates hoards? I hope his children get the lot of it and give a ton of it away. It does nothing for society if you try and raise your kids like they have a typical middle class lifestyle when they don’t, especially if you don’t live that lifestyle yourself. People get money and then get all high and mighty.

    • Cherie says:

      Hard to teach someone how to be responsible with wealth and maintain that they are somehow OWED an inheritance and to be given whatever family wealth has been accumulated by generations before them.

  35. april says:

    I’m very happy that Melinda will give her kids more. I thought $10M was a complete disgrace. With all the money they have, their kids deserve a decent inheritance.

  36. Evie says:

    I seriously don’t get what all the fuss is about. As others have said, Melinda French Gates stands to get half of her estranged husband’s wealth once the divorce is settled. That is an estimated $60 Billion, so Melinda can leave the kids whatever she likes.
    The other point that is not being mentioned is that although, Bill Gates stated publicly that he’s “only leaving his kids $10 million each,” he and Melinda have given their three children Jennifer, 25; Rory 22; and Phoebe, 18 plenty already.
    Jennifer is a world class equestrienne and is also enrolled at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and is studying to be a pediatrician. The Gates’ bought Jennifer a multi-million condo on the Upper East Side a few blocks from her school. Bill and Melinda also gifted her with a horse property in an exclusive section of Westchester County. Additionally, they shelled out $37 Million a few years back to buy several properties to make their own equestrian compound down in Wellington, Florida where Jennifer competes and trains her horses. And the properties don’t include the horses themselves. Jennifer has several mounts who are each worth six figures.
    Here’s a link to a 2018 article from http://www.businessinsider.com that details the aforementioned properties Jennifer has received from her parents.
    https://bit.ly/3hAlfYL
    Jennifer is also engaged to Nayel Nassar, a wealthy Egyptian-American and professional equestrian showjumper. He also graduated from Stanford with a degree in business economics. Neither Jennifer nor her two siblings are going to be hurting for money.

  37. RandomLady says:

    I’m a fan of leaving your kids enough to enjoy, but not enough to do nothing. Both of my children have trust funds and fully funded collage accounts – but neither of them know it. The surplus of our wealth is designated to be split between our universities to help provide scholarships for low income students. It is, in our opinion, the right thing to do.

    The one weird thing: Our kids genuinely think we are middle income – at some point, we will have to explain we are not. It allows a lot of flexibility in life that is not realistic at a more modest income level (Ex: My 12 year old car was rear ended and was undrivable. I knew it would be totaled. I called the dealer, wired money and had them deliver a brand new car the next day.). I can understand how growing up in extreme wealth shifts your world view a lot – it will be a weird transition for them I’m sure.